The Hidden Power of Workplace Rituals

Leaders are under enormous pressure to address societal issues, maintain an active DEI strategy, and keep employees connected to each other and to the company’s mission. And since employees rightly expect to be able to bring their feelings — big and small — to work, supporting employees during cultural trauma and strife is every leader’s job. It’s not always obvious how to address these issues at work, especially when leaders aren’t necessarily trained or experienced in navigating such sensitive, emotional topics. One important way to provide the support employees expect is through rituals.

I’ve studied the impact of workplace rituals on individuals, teams, and the bottom line for many years for my book, Rituals Roadmap. This research has helped me define rituals using two important benchmarks. First, rituals go beyond their practical purpose, moving participants beyond transaction and into meaning. For instance, lighting a candle when the lights go…

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This article was written by Erica Keswin and originally published on hbr.org